My name is Nancy Arledge, and I am honored to be stepping into the position of IEA President! I have been involved with the IEA in many ways since 2002, always as a Coach with the added responsibilities of Zone 5 Chair, National Finals Co-Host, National and Zone Rules and Ethics Committee member and President Elect.
I am a true believer in the gift that IEA can give young equestrians. What gift you ask? : As I tell all my team members year after year, "I wish IEA was around when I was in school." Most equestrians in middle and high school don't get the opportunity to share their dedication, admiration and love of the horse, nor the joy of riding, with their classmates. Like me, many equestrians are so dedicated to the horse, the love of everything horse, riding, barn chores, more riding that they don't have the time to join yet another sport and compete with that school team. This is where IEA is so cool in my opinion! To have a Team you belong to, to compete not only as an individual but as a team unit, to have fun at the barn during practices, fundraisers, trips to horse shows, cheering on your team as one after another rider goes in their class, it truly is a team atmosphere!
Further benefits of IEA membership are scholarships. Many IEA Zones and/or Regions give scholarships-plus the Lawrence/Ackerer Founder Scholarships at Nationals and there are plenty of colleges that have riding teams and those teams are looking to the IEA for their next members!
I am truly excited about the growth and opportunities the IEA is experiencing, and I look forward to this season's Hunt Seat Finals in Wellington, Florida and Western Finals in Oklahoma City. In addition, the excitement is already building for the Epic National Finals in 2016 at the Kentucky Horse Park, where Hunt Seat and Western National Finals will once again be together.
I hope to meet many of you during my term as president, and I wish you all much luck and success in all you strive to do. Remember "It's your future, take the reins!"